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With a career spanning almost 50 years, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is arguably the most successful composer in musical theater history, and I don't think he'll ever be equaled. Beginning with The Likes of Us, his first collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice, which was written in 1965 but remained unperformed for 40 years, his shows have remained popular and almost timeless. He has won four Olivier Awards and seven Tony Awards, and a number of his songs ("Any Dream Will Do", , , and ) have become famous outside their parent musicals. But it was the premiere of The Phantom of the Opera that solidified his reputation. An adaptation of the Gaston Leroux novel, it is the longest-running show on Broadway, and became the first Broadway show to celebrate 10,000 performances. It's been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities and 27 countries. Phantom celebrated its 25th anniversary on the West End in 2011, and with worldwide profits of $5.6 billion, it is the most financially successful entertainment event to date. He capitalized on its success with a sequel in 2010; while the West End production met with mixed reviews, a production in Australia, with heavy rewrites, met with more critical acclaim. He has also adapted three of of his shows (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Phantom) into major motion pictures, and has earned three Academy Award nominations, winning in 1997 for the song "You Must Love Me", from the adaptation of Evita. I only got into Webber's music relatively recently, but I'm glad I did.
Song: "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys